Well, we made it! 365 days of blogging! Because it is a leap year, I have one more day to blog in order to get to March 1st. But, on this 365th post, I am taking a look at all the well wishes and inspiration I received from friends and strangers over the past 365 days. Honestly, this is the reason I set out on this mission, and I am so thankful these individuals took the time to show their appreciation. Thank you!
From Janaye, a perfect stranger (and I mean that quite literally):
Hi,I just wanted to write you a quick email to say thank you. I discovered one of your signs in my neighborhood along my jogging route and decided to check out your blog….which is completely awesome! I’ve always been big on kindness, believing the simplest gestures can make the biggest difference. Unfortunately, I don’t live this belief out as much as I would like to say I do. Being 17 years old and going to high school, I’m struggling to form my identity and way too often I focus on only myself and my own needs. I’ve realized how incredibly self-absorbed I am. I’ve also realized that’s one of the main philosophies which society emphasizes – ”everything’s about you”. I don’t want to shape an identity that fits into this ideaology. My desire is to have character composed of love and kindness, serving others instead of being self-serving. And I believe that starts with humility and gratefulness. Humility because only when you’re humble can you truly care for others. Not a false humility motivated by who’s watching or the glory I will receive, but a genuine humility; the act of consistently denying myself and reaching out to others. Gratefulness because when you’re grateful, you’re thinking about what you’ve been blessed with, and from that stems joy and satisfaction in what you have; allowing you the willingness and desire to give that joy to others.I don’t know if any of that makes sense haha but I want you to know you’ve inspired me. You are a truly different person and it’s awesome to see. Just from your blog, you serve as an example to me through your sincerity and passion for others. And you have both humility and gratefulness, from what I’ve seen so far. I hope that my identity turns out as amazing as yours. Never lose that empathy, you don’t know who you’re impacting. Thank you for your inspiration and for taking the time to do what you do.Hope this wasn’t too strange of an email
Have a fantastic day!
From Richard Radstone, who also has a 365 blog, which is fabulous!
“Be present and mindful. Not an easy thing to do, to not think about the past, or the future, but to live life in the moment. And Kindness can come from there.“To do it you have to follow your heart and be aware enough to know we are all swayed by the media, politics and society.“Enforce your self-authority over all these outside influences in doing what is right for self and others. It’s all about ethics and morals.”Not my words, but the words of fellow blogger Dez, the owner of allspunout365 (http://allspunout365.wordpress.com), a very cool 365 day blog with one mission, to highlight random acts of kindness, one a day for one year. Now on day 321, Dez is an example to me in commitment.I meet her in a random way, from a kind comment she places on my blog, and after reading it I am strongly prompted to reach out, inquiring if she would be open to becoming one of my 365 friends.Until we meet today, at a little cafe in Sherman Oaks, I knew nothing about Dez, other than her blog. At first meeting I am immediately smitten by her spirit. Dez is angelic and emits the most amazing positive attitude. Her energy is infectious and after having the opportunity to spend almost two hours chatting with her, I am edified in my knowledge of this fact, “There are so many good, kind and caring people in the world,” and Dez is one of the best.
Dez, purely stated, is one of those people that radiate kindness, and because of this it makes absolute sense as to her motivation for starting her blog. Love for others is obviously in her DNA, it literally emits from her in every word she shares, and the way she listen with me this day.“I moved to Los Angeles to follow an acting career.”As we talk, I find out that Dez is highly talented and no quitter. She is exquisitely beautiful, articulate and educated – the kind of person that makes it in Hollywood.So why the change of heart, “After awhile I realized that my heart was not into it. I wanted to look beyond myself in helping others.”At that moment of self-realization, she decided to return to academics and has followed a greater path toward helping others.Now, four months from completing her Masters in Clinical Psychology, Dez is on her true course to contributing to the world in helping others.We talk for the bulk of our conversation about society and self-work.“When I started school, I wanted to work with children and trauma. But as I spend time in my internship, working in a community mental health center, I’ve been exposed to many different cases and am learning a lot. I think I’ll stay here for now and hope to work with more families.”Dez is a fighter, “I work at least sixty hours a week, class, my unpaid internship and my money making job (administrative assistant).” That does not include the time she puts into her blog and study time.“Why did you commit to a 365 day project with all you have to do?” I must know, after all, I am a 365-day blogger and it’s rare to commune with another.“First, I was a little bored and was looking for a challenge”I think, “A little bored? Sixty-plus hours a week and a little bored,” Dez is a powerhouse of ability and I’m uplifted by her commitment.She goes on, “But the more I got into it, the better it felt. It is great to be a part of something positive and I’ve grown from the experience.”“Would you encourage others to do a 365 blog?” I question.“Absolutely! All they need to do is find anything they are interested in, to listen to their heart and go for it. They will learn a lot about themselves and I’m sure grow from doing it.”That leads me to a more personal question, “Your almost done with your year, would you do it again!”Her reply, as I thought, “It’s been difficult and challenging and I’ve grown as a person. Creating it has changed my life, and it’s been motivating. I’m already thinking about a next project and am letting it evolve in my mind.”Dez’s answer strikes hard with me, I’m on day 128 and, I too am hooked, we’ll see what happens at the end of mine.In meeting Dez, seeing other 365 blogs (there are a few out there), I too encourage you to explore the thought of starting one. I promise, even though a daunting commitment, you will be enlightened.
Man! There is so much to say about Dez and it is impossible to articulate it in a short blog.Our conversation is deep and her quotes at the beginning of this entry do articulate the basics of her council. I guess the biggest take away I can offer, “Be courageous. Look at your life, but do not reflect on it. Lean on your experiences, education, spirituality and conscience to make you decisions and once made, constantly listen to your self-voice and be strong and humble enough to follow your own inspiration.”In speaking of the future, and the world, Dez starts with this… after a big pause of thought, “I can’t comment on the world, that is too big. For me, it’s not really possible to see what it will be.”“For me, it’s not really possible to see what it will be.” Dez says, and I know she means it in a very optimistic way. And after hearing so many doom and gloom predictions, Dez’s reply is a breath of fresh air.Picking it back up, Dez continues, “But I can comment on society and myself. For me, peacefulness in self, for society – really think about acceptance of self and others, and learn to work hand-in-hand with each other. We all know what it’s like to be human, ‘the human experience,’ and we all know what pain and happiness is.”Our interview is growing to a close and I’ve forgotten to tell you one thing, my daughter has been patiently sitting with us. Why do I constantly drag her with me on these 365 quests?A two part answer, “1) She asks to come, 2) I’m watching her learn compassion and am proud of her for her sensitivity.”Dez and my girl hit it off wonderfully, furthering my gratitude for Dez’s outlook on life.So what about Dez’s act of kindness today, other than the sweetness she has shared with my daughter?It’s called a “Yarnbomb.” Every once and a while, Dez painstakingly knits a gift. Her gift? A handcrafted cotton flower carrying a message. A message that she randomly places on a tree, or a street post or even in a yard. A special little offering of affirmation and hope to whoever the unknown recipient is. Bottom line, a selfless act of random kindness.
Lucky for us, today is a Yarnbomb day, and we are placing the grand marshal of all Yarnbombs, a pass it on challenge.It works like this: we are placing it on a light pole, it reads this.“This bit of knitting, or “yarnbomb,” was made with love and care with the intention of strengthening community and kindness. “This little yarnbomb has begun its journey in Los Angeles, CA. and hopes to make it all the way to New York, NY. “Please carefully and kindly place this yarnbomb on the next tree or pole, in the next city or state from where you find it, going in the direction of New York. “As a random act of kindness. “Then pull out your smart phone, take a picture of it, and email it to the address below (making sure to indicate who you are, in what city and on what object you kindly left this yarnbomb, and any other info you wish to share): Allspunout365@gmail.com “Then, visit the blog below to update yourself on this yarnbomb’s travels, which (with your help) will be updated daily. “Respect the process.”
In closing we talk of life’s path, and conclude on one unanimous finding, “We will always be evolving and there is much to learn.”“If I could do it all again, I would study neuroscience. There is so much going on in that field, and it would be exciting to be part of it. What is fascinating is how study of the brain is linking to the treatment of trauma.”Dez, I know you will do all that you dream to do.
From Helen Jupiter, another stranger, about the “Give What You Can Series”:
All that was left when I found this in the Trader Joe’s elevator was Peace and Integrity. I took Integrity – just because. This is a fun blog! Glad to have stumbled up on it!
From Phillip Johnson, an old friend:
In the interest of full disclosure, I am not quite sure how I know you. Your name and face are vaguely familiar and the fact you went to Oly and we have 20 mutual “friends” is probably the knot in the social rope, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. In addition, I also thought you were sharing a blog until I read a couple of entries and found out you were the mind behind it. My apologies.However, I have grown to know you in the present (or in the first 90 days of your blog with 122 left to experience) through your outstanding blog. It is filled with inspiration, creativity, humor and one of the simplest, most powerful messages that sometimes seems so hard to abide by on some days: RESPECT THE PROCESS! (Which I have currently Post-it noted on my monitor in my office)Through your blog I have laughed until I cried. cried until I laughed, and found that through one’s passions, positivity and service to others are 3 keys to a vibrant life.My life has been nomadic from hotel to hotel for the past 6 years and the movement and sheer amount of work has kind of unnerved me. You have inspired me to take photography, guitar, and public service (hobbies that I would have always liked to make a passion of mine) and make it a larger part of my life and bring balance to my “self”.It is important that people who do great things be acknowledged, even if it is on a small scale. I have already shared your blog and stories with some of my closest friends and after I send this, I am going to share your blog with my little slice of Facebook.You are an artist. your knitspirations are wonderful and hope I see one in the future and you would be happy to know that I have spread love through post-its. Amy Krouse Rosenthal would be proud of you. If you meant for your blog, which I am excited to read and experience the rest of, to be a vessel of inspiration, you have succeeded.In short, you kind of rule. Good luck in grad school, your Etsy shop, and your knitvolution.From an anonymous passerby:“I too have just been inspired by your video, wonderful project, and by the yarn bombing idea. I had read today was Knitting In Public Day too (and hoped that crochet counted). My son had, a few weeks ago, brought home a crochet flower that was hanging on a Culver City tree in front of the USVAA with a beautiful quote on it (allspunout3…65.wordpress.com site was on the back). Today, driving up Sawtelle, my son noticing the pink Totoro sewn onto a street post, made me turn around, park the car, and come admire it! Yes, I too love our neighborhood, West LA (and Culver City too!) and the beautiful people we have living and crocheting in it. As a fellow crocheter (Sundaycrochet.com) hope to run into you at our WLA Farmer’s Market this and every Sunday Keep hooked!”
From Nicole, another stranger, on the car cozy she found:
Hello! This is long overdue but I wanted to say thank you…I was one of the lucky people to receive a car cozie and your gift couldn’t of come at a more perfect time.I recently lost my brother to cancer and when I saw that on my car it made me so happy. So thank you for this random act of kindness…it’s nice to know there are people like you out there.
Thank you all so much for your support and your kind words!